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Meeting between the Taoiseach and Mr Tom Donohue


Meeting between the Taoiseach and Mr. Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce

The Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., has welcomed the visit to Dublin today by Mr. Tom Donohue, President and CEO of the US Chamber of Commerce, as a powerful signal to entrepreneurs across the Atlantic that Ireland “is open and ready for business.”

Speaking at a breakfast meeting in Iveagh House, Dublin this morning, the Taoiseach assured representatives of US multinationals in Ireland and leading Irish businesspeople that the 12.5% rate of corporation tax will not change.  He said the United States remains our primary source of foreign direct investment and noted that commerce between both countries is thriving, notwithstanding the economic challenges here.

In his address, Mr. Donohue advised that he had travelled to Ireland to reaffirm the American business community’s commitment to Ireland as a vitally important investment and trading partner and to express his “optimism that the Irish and American economies are making real progress.” Mr. Donohue reflected on the strong economic ties between Ireland and the US and noted that “as each of our countries struggle to repair and grow our own economies, we must never forget that our destinies are tied together.” Outlining the resilience that the Irish economy has shown in difficult circumstances, Mr. Donohue commented that “the Irish economy is based on the resourcefulness, intelligence, and grit of the Irish people, who are well educated and industrious” and that “the American business community still sees Ireland as a good place to invest.”

Mr Gerard Kilcommins, President of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, said that Ireland has been hugely successful in attracting US businesses into Europe by supporting the establishment of international operations in Ireland. He reiterated that industry, along with the Irish government and its agencies, is committed to reinforcing and reassuring international markets that Ireland remains a vibrant economy with many opportunities.

Note for Editors

The US Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. The Chamber is the biggest single lobbying presence in Washington DC and, as such, has significant influence on the policy-making debate across the range of issues, including tax, trade, innovation, regulation.

The American Chamber of Commerce Ireland represents over 600 US businesses with operations in Ireland and is affiliated to the US Chamber of Commerce.

The US is Ireland’s largest merchandise trading partner with merchandise trade valued at €25.4bn in 2009, as well as its largest services trading partner with services trade valued at €29.2bn in 2009. Figures for merchandise trade for the first 3 quarters of 2010 show an increase of almost 8% in exports from Ireland to the US compared with the same period in 2009.